Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:05 pm Post subject: GIJoe 2012 SDCC Kim "Jinx" Arashikage
I have to admit I was a latecomer to the GI Joe fandom, not jumping on until about 1989. I started getting a few figures, watched a couple episodes, and then my buddy Joe (irony) showed me the original animated GI Joe the movie and we got to the scene where they introduce the new recruits. Among them was the young ninja Jinx. They introduce her by having her pull off her mask and.... it was love at first sight. I mentioned before how April O'Neil was my first cartoon crush but, much as I still love her, it was nothing for how I fell for Jinx. She's beautiful, she's got a personality you can't help but love, and she KICKS ASS! She mopped the floor with Beachhead WHILE BLINDFOLDED! (This was particularly appealing to me because I never cared for Beachhead) Jinx quickly became, and to this day remains, my favorite GI Joe. So naturally when she was this year's SDCC exclusive I had to get my hands on her and finally have.
Here we finally have what I've been longing for. A new Jinx figure done in the style of her vintage outfit, but with the more detailed sculpt and greater articulation of the newer figures. Her card, like the 25th Anniversary figures, is done in the retro style of the original 80's and features beautiful artwork of the character to the side of the figure. The figure also had additional protection coming in a plastic case that helps preserve the carded figure inside. It's so beautiful I almost didn't want to open her up. (I finally did but carefully slit open the bubble over the figure and slipped her out rather than tearing it open -I'm keeping this box)
However, there is not one but two variants of this SDCC exclusive. Aside from the standard red outfit, there is one of her in a white suit, which features an unmasked head. As I mentioned I fell for Jinx upon seeing her unmasked, but sadly the vintage figure's mask was not removable even though she went without it through most of the movie and a great deal in the comics. It should go without saying that I went and got both versions so we'll be taking a look at them both. Like the red version she features the beautiful artwork that captures a look that is somehow reminiscent of both her comic appearance and that of Elodie Yung who will be playing Jinx in the live action GI Joe Retaliation movie.
The back of both cards feature panels from the original GI Joe comic book featuring Jinx and, like all Joe figures, there are file cards on the character. The file cards are the same as the vintage figure with the exception of using the new artwork, and the changing of the name. As you may have noticed the packaging does not say Jinx but rather Kim Arashikage. Hasbro is really bad about keeping the trademark on names of their characters and basically for trademark reasons they can't label her Jinx on the package. She is not the first character to suffer this, and in fact it happened to her before as the last two versions had to be labeled "Agent Jinx". Why they can't use that anymore I don't know, or why they didn't label her Kim "Jinx" Arashikage on the front of the package I have no idea since she is labeled that on the file card's description. Strangely it still lists her file name as Classified -despite the fact that they give it to us right there! Jinx's real name was not given on her vintage figure or subsequent ones and was actually not revealed until 2005 and that was in the comic book. It should also be noted it was originally given as Kimi. In the Japanese language i is usually pronounced like e so going by that her name would be pronounced "Kee Mee" and is not simply a affectionate nickname of Kim/Kimberly nevertheless later continuities called her simply Kim.
Starting with the red version you can see how they took the vintage look and updated it with a more lifelike ninja outfit appearance. Like the vintage she comes with her naginata weapon and twin swords that fit into sheaths on her back. While the vintage figure had a large backpack though, the new figure has simply twin sword holsters. As with most Joe figures, they plug into a hole in the figure's back. She does feature a stand that is like the 25th Anniversary style with the GI Joe logo across the top and the character's name on the front. Again it has the full Kim "Jinx" Arashikage so why doesn't the package?
Articulation wise is where this figure soars. Her head is on a ball joint peg allowing a lager range of movement. She has ball joints in the shoulders and elbows and swivels at the wrists. In her torso instead of the swivel at the waist like the vintage she has a semi-ball joint in the center that basically combines a side swivel and ab-crunch joint into one giving her more posing abilities. In the legs she has similar joints at the ankles allowing her to move her feel in several positions. At the knees there are double bend joints giving her quite a bit of flexibility. At the waist she has the standard GI Joe "hanger" joint, so called because it has a hook at the top that attaches to the o ring band inside the figure and hanger arms that go into ball joint sockets in the legs. This allows a wide range of hip movement and she can even get in a full sitting position. It can't really bend up behind her due to the sculpt of the figure's buttocks -and yes I'll come out and say it; this Jinx figure has a very nice sculpted ass.
The white outfit variant is the same mold just painted in white with red highlights instead of black. She comes with the same swords and sheaths again painted red instead of black. Instead of the naginata, she has a kama rope and sickle weapon which features an actual string rope. The main difference is her head which features a lovely unmasked face with great detailing. Until now the only unmasked Jinx figure was her Valor vs. Venom variant and while it's pretty, I think this figure captures her Japanese ethnicity better.
The figure has long hair drawn back in a ponytail and this can slightly hinder head movement when she has her swords on her back as the ponytail collides with the sheaths.
One other difference in the outfit comes in the dragon emblems on her left arm and right leg. They are the same design as the dragon on the vintage figure (and red variant) chest just bigger so you can really make out the design. That's one thing I felt was missing from the Valor vs Venom version. I believe the dragon emblem is a crucial part of Jinx's outfit.
One last thing I want to mention about the sculpt is the feet. The vintage Jinx had slip on shoes with a bit of skin showing as though she did not wear socks. The new figure has more ninja style footwear which is almost sock like itself. The detail on the feet is quite good as you can make out the individual toes. Actually, while there is a slight fabric fold on the top of the foot, you could almost paint these flesh tone and have a barefoot figure. (If she wasn't so hard to get I actually would get an extra and try this) I'm showing the white version as it's easier to make out the detail. The red variant has her soles painted black.
Much like the MOTUC figures the ball joint peg of the heads allows them to be removed and swapped out. While it does stand out a bit, the masked head still works on the white body due to the other red highlights. The unmasked head on the red body though leaves no room for argument. This is the figure I have been wanting for years. A perfect update of the original Jinx outfit but with an unmasked face. I really wish this figure had been a normal release instead of an exclusive. Even if the red masked was retail and the unmasked white was an exclusive I could accept it, but Jinx is such a great character she deserves a bigger release.
Jinx's figures have been few and far between. After the original she had a 1994 Joe convention exclusive Cobra Infiltrating variant that was the same mold except it had a cloth cape and featured a Cobra emblem as she was on an undercover mission. Years later we finally got a new sculpt in her Valor vs. Venom version and a few years later we got a Toys R Us exclusive as part of the Tiger Force multi-pack. (apparently Jinx went for the Eternian Tiger look as her outfit is green with orange stripes like Battle Cat) but that was once again a repaint of her original figure.
These new figures are perfect and I love them, but I still feel the red variant of this new Jinx should have been a regular release as we see in the trailer she does dress in her red outfit in the new movie. There will be a regular release movie figure coming soon but it will be masked and wearing a yellow and black outfit as seen in a different part of the film. (It's where she and Snake Eyes fight off a swarm of Red Ninjas so they probably wanted Jinx to stand out against them)
I really hope Jinx has a great representation in the new film. Even if she doesn't get a lot of lines she needs to kick some major ass and, of course, survive the film and be in any future sequels. I was surprised and very angry when Cover Girl died in the first film. If anything happens to Jinx I'm walking out, demanding my money back, then going out to Hollywood, finding those responsible and beating the living daylights out of them. You do not **** with my Kimi!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, I highly recommend either or both of these figures for any Joe fan, but you're going to have to check e-bay and such and be ready for inflated prices as she is popular. Good Luck.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005